Post Charismatic?


I'm a card carrying charismatic. My conversion involved a dramatic experience of the Holy Spirit, the baptist church I was in practiced the gifts of the spirit, and soon after I got involved in Vineyard Churches, and the whole Third Wave movement.

An understanding of The Kingdom of God, and the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, with an expectation of that continuing today in my life and that of my church community, is still very much part of my faith.

Most of the international emerging church comes from non charismatic backgrounds, or those that do often describe themselves as post-charismatic, seeing most of what happened in their church experiences as cultural and sociological manifestations rather than the Spirit at work. (That is a loaded paragraph that I don't have space here to detail you'd need to dig into the archives of my blog).

In my emerging church journey, I have questioned many of the charismatic ministry practices I inherited, but haven't wanted to throw the baby out with the bath-water. I hope my understanding of the Spirit has deepened, that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is something that I see and experience in so may other ways.

But theologically and in terms of praxis, I still believe we need the dynamic encounters of the Kingdom of God, by and through the Holy Spirit, for conviction, conversion, formation, empowerment, and the enabling of mission.

So to the book recommendation to-day by Robby Mac, 'Post-Charismatic?'

It represents a small selection on my book shelf, and emerging church books, that explore the charismatic and holy spirit. In fact it's the only book of it's kind on my shelf, and if you know of any more please let me know.

My immediate question was about the title, 'post' implies after, and beyond, and often ex, but Robby clarifies carefully that he is not an ex charismatic, and why he uses that term. He then proposes the term 'charismissional', which I have read on his blog before and love.

It might be a more accurate title for the book, but I guess it would attract less attention :-)

It is a comprehensive book by a wonderful and gracious man. It's not a hatchet job of charismatic church life, but a kind yet deeply reflective and critical look, at some of the many streams of charismatic church, their history and antecedents, and what they were about at their best, and where they have left many of us asking questions when they were at their worst.

In fact, I located so much of my own journey and my questions in the book, thanks for giving voice and articulation so much better than I could Robby.

At the end of the book it felt like a clearing of the decks, and setting of the stage, a prolegomena for the 'Charismissional'. It left me wanting to see what Robby writes next, to articulate and describe a move into the 'Charismissional'.

So if you are wondering what the Charismatic is all about and how it might connect with emerging contexts, if you are someone who gave up hope on the charismatic, this book might be just what your looking for.